Petter Solberg was given the chance to try out the new Volkswagen Motorsport Polo GTI R5 at a test in Kall, north-west of Östersund in Sweden last week, ahead of the cars debut in Rally competition later this year.
The 2003 FIA World Rally Champion was behind the wheel of the new R5 entry with co-driver Veronica Engan, who normally is co-driver for Solberg’s son Oliver as he gets his Rallying career underway. Solberg drove almost the same distance as a three-day FIA World Rally Championship event during the test.
The Double FIA World Rallycross Champion explained his pleaure at driving this new R5 car built by Volkswagen Motorsport in the arctic conditions.
“It was just fantastic to be back behind the wheel of a rally car again and to help out the Volkswagen family. It was a really, really fun day of driving,” said Solberg.
The former Rally Sweden winner was full of praise for the work the Hannover-based team has completed with its latest rally car. Solberg himself finished in third place in the 2017 FIA World Rallycross Championship in the Volkswagen supported PSRX Volkswagen Team Sweden Polo Gti.
“Volkswagen has done such a great job and the Polo GTI R5 is fantastic to drive. I didn’t want to get out at the end of the day! We covered almost 300 kilometres in really nice winter conditions during the day. That’s very, very different and a lot more kilometres than I’m used to doing in a World RX test.”
“I have a lot of experience in rallying and with developing rally cars and using this experience we were able to make some small changes to the Polo. I have to say a big thank you to Volkswagen Motorsport for the work they did during the day”
With the 2018 FIA World Rallycross Championship only seventy five days away, there has not yet been any official confirmation from either Solberg or 2017 FIA World Rallycross Champion Johan Kristoffersson regarding their plans for this year. However both drivers are expected to return with Solberg’s Volkswagen backed outfit to defend their titles.